It has been less than a few 48 hours after receiving their first No.1 mid-season rank in the history of the program before the Villanova Wildcats dominated the DePaul Blue Demons. Last night the Wildcats showed why they are currently the best team in the country with a sound 86-59 victory at Allstate Area. DePaul tried to hang on with a few runs at the end of the first half, but it was not enough. In fact, the Blue Demons never really stood a chance. Villanova started the lead from the tip-off and led by double digits for most of the game.
The Wildcats were led by a balanced performance on both ends of the court. Four of the five starters finished in double figures. The Big East 2015 sixth man of the year and 2015 Big East tournament Most Outstanding Player, Josh Hart, had another stellar performance. Hart, a finalist for the 2016 Jerry West Award and serious contender for the Big East Player of the Year finished with 18 points, 3 assists, and 2 rebounds. He also passed the 1,000-point mark for his career.
Daniel Ochefu returned to action after missing three games due to a concussion and recorded 11 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists in 20 minutes of play. Darryl Reynolds stepped up following Ochefu’s injury and had another great performance tonight. He scored 14 points, grabbed 2 rebounds, and got 2 steals. Reynolds had an impressive shooting night, going 5-6 in field goals and 4-4 from the free throw line. He also had a couple of electrifying put back dunks to round out his scoring.
It was a welcome home game for Jalen Brunson, getting the opportunity to play at home in Chicago again. He added 11 points and 4 assists. Last night the Wildcats showed why they are the No. 1 team in the country. They began the game fast, scoring early, and leaving DePaul no chance of coming back by the second half. Hopefully, they continue on this path after some other top teams have fallen, including Big East competitor and No. 5 ranked team Xavier who was lost in an upset to Creighton by 15. Villanova will continue to take it one game at a time.
With the win over DePaul, Villanova extends their record to 21-3, 11-1 in the Big East. They are 14-3 against the BPI top 100 teams and currently have the most wins against a BPI top 100 opponents in the nation.
After two road games, the Wildcats return to the Wells Fargo Center to play St. John’s Red Storm in their first home game as the top-ranked team for an 8:00pm ET tip off.